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Living an Intentional Life on Purpose – the homework that makes the home work!

Living an Intentional Life on Purpose – the homework that makes the home work! Written by Aspen Spratt That’s right.  Be intentional on purpose.  It’s a double positive. It’s choosing to be intentional versus letting life go by and just happen.  It’s taking time to really pause to think, communicate and plan a dream life.  It’s working together with your spouse/partner. It’s having purpose in your life and making sure you are taking steps to get there, TOGETHER. The picture above is our golf cart from our trip to Maui last year.  It’s because we practice living an intentional life on purpose that we had the privilege to have that opportunity. At first, it might seem like a daunting task to have your life planned out. Is it possible? Will my spouse/partner help?  What if we get off track? Is it worth it? What do I want my life and my family life to look like? For those of us with 99+ things on their to do list (me) and with each one done, two more pop up, that’s how it might feel.  Like the never-ending laundry I’m sure we all experience or outsource. So, sometimes I think we don’t start this type of self-care because we feel like it’s a herculean task that’s just going to add to the already overwhelming to do list, right? Let me reassure you that it actually makes the whole home work. It’s homework that makes the home work! Let me ask you a question. Think about your last vacation or the next one you have scheduled.  What type of planning was/is involved? Would you agree that sometimes it’s days of planning, packing, deciding the itinerary and excursions, etc.  Why is it a great idea to plan it properly? Usually it has something to do with the limited time frame, the amount of money you have to spend and the desire to squeeze out the most of the vacation as possible.  You want to make the best use of your time spent making memories, relaxing, soaking it all in and also make sure you stay within your budget, can afford to do the things you want to do or buy the souvenirs you want to bring home. You want to come home refreshed not regretting how your precious and valuable time was spent. It’s a lot of work to plan and execute a fantastic…

It’s Okay to Not be Okay

It’s Okay to Not be Okay   Hey mama. I see you. And I have been there. I know what it’s like to get out of bed and face the day, despite that feeling. To wear a smile in a crowded room. To “fake it til’ you make it” for everyone’s sake but your own. And no I am not talking about the exhaustion we feel from taking care of everyone and everything. I am talking about that strange feeling that creeps up on you, sometimes with no warning. And no control. I am talking about depression. I know because I was there too. I felt this take over me in December of 2016. I thought it was because of my circumstances; the things I had no control of. I thought when a doctor labeled it, “onset depression,” it was something that was in its beginning stage, so I still had a chance to stop it. I also thought because I had already prevailed over numerous losses in my past, I could definitely take this on. It was nothing, right? I was wrong. It was the beginning of a new relationship with some thing that I didn’t want. I tried to stay busy and keep myself distracted most of the time, but that became extremely draining. I also had days that I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t find the energy to shower or make a decent meal. I began to block out people and events that might’ve helped. Depression tends to do that. It can be overbearing. Depression became my new form of comfort after a while. I allowed myself to become comfortable in this new state of being. I allowed it to become my excuse to not do anything productive, or anything that involved being around other people. I created this bubble. Depression tends to isolate you and that can be dangerous. It wasn’t until I came home from working late one night. My mom and my kids were at my aunt’s house. I walked into an empty apartment and felt the emptiness start to weigh me down. I went to the restroom and I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Suicidal ideation crept into my head and I felt the sudden urge to call my mom and beg her to come home. For once, I didn’t want to…

Being pregnant after a miscarriage…

Being pregnant after a miscarriage… Being pregnant after having a miscarriage was one of the most beautiful and scariest experiences of my life. I was a mom of 2 boys and had miscarried July of 2015. When I found out I was pregnant again I was so happy and excited I wanted to share it with the world but I was scared so I did not and did my best to manage my internal state. At times, I was successful and at other times, fear won. I was forced to sit with uncomfortable emotions and figure out a way to enjoy this pregnancy. I was terrified of having a miscarriage again. So we decided not to share the news with our boys and family until I was at least 12 weeks pregnant. As I write this I realize that this experience still affects me. I like to focus on the positive things in my life but I know that my miscarriage story may give another mama hope. Miscarriages happen more than we realize and we do not talk about it enough. I remember finding out I was pregnant the Summer of 2015, I was so excited I really wanted another baby to be honest I have always wanted 4 or 5 kids, my husband not so much. I shared the news with my husband and immediately sent out a text with the picture of my positive pregnancy test. I was so excited. My boys were going to have a baby brother/sister. I remember going in to the clinic to confirm my pregnancy and asking if it was safe to fly. We were going to my friends wedding in Buffalo, New York and I just wanted to be sure it was safe fly this early in pregnancy. My midwife assured me it was. I hate flying and I am sure I really wanted her to say no, but she didn’t so we went on with our plans. I was excited to see my friend again, I had not seen her since my wedding in 2008 and we were also going to meet up with some family. On our first full day in Buffalo we went to Niagara Falls. We had so much fun, it was such a beautiful experience. I highly recommend going. We did a lot of walking and I remember cramping the next day, it was super uncomfortable, I…

Rethinking the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Rethinking the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Written by Aspen Spratt  When we are young, people ask us “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  It’s a fun question to ask, especially to kids, to hear their dreams.  When we are young, we dream about being an astronaut, a doctor, a famous musician/actor/athlete or even the President of the United States.  When I was young, I dreamt about being a teacher.  I always had an inner desire to teach and help people.  But I didn’t become a teacher, at least in the sense of a school teacher that I thought I would as a little girl. Knowing I wanted to teach was the important piece.  Recently, my husband and I were talking about this question for our daughter, who is now a toddler.  We were dreaming about what she might want to be when she grows up. What is the world going to be like when she’s 18?  It’s really astounding to think about what the future will look like for her, the technology alone, right? What is also interesting, was when we thought about that question, we asked ourselves… is that really the question to ask?  Should we ask her what she wants to be when she grows up? Or, is there a better question?  What if we ask her something different to really help her decide her profession as an adult?  Let me give you some background to why I believe we might be asking our kids the wrong question.  If you are like me, you grew up going to a public school with the end goal of getting into college.  Then, at college, all the focus was on what career I was going to start.  The question still was “What do you want to be?”  At this point, I stopped dreaming about becoming a teacher.  In fact, I think I stopped dreaming and was being more “practical” in my career approach and leaning on what would be the best career choice, with the most job security and best salary.  In my practical approach, I chose to get a business degree and concentration in accounting.  I have a long story and this is a brief summary.  What I can tell you is that I lasted one tax season as an Associate Accountant and instead spent my 20s running pubs in England, and now in my 30s I am an Entrepreneur back home in Colorado.  I wasn’t alone.  Many of…

For the mother seeking inspiration Written by: Bianca Cerrato

For the mother seeking inspiration Written By, Bianca Cerrato When people would ask me, “How did you become an author? or What was your inspiration?” I always have to start from the beginning and tell the whole journey that led up to me even being open to hear from God and what He had planned for my life. Inspiration can come from many different places, people, events and everyone’s journey is unique.  My journey began in 2013 when a difficult event completely changed my life forever. No, it wasn’t having a child unfortunately, it was the year my grandfather passed away.  My grandpa was a great man, he was the wisest most loving man I ever met. He was special and I don’t say that because he is my grandpa, I say that because when he was 18 years old, he was involved in a car accident riding in the passenger seat of a friend’s car while on their way to work. He immediately became paralyzed from his waist down which left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.  Growing up I never heard him complain, I just saw him be the man of the house, faithfully read his Bible and be the heart of my family despite his disability. Now you understand why he had such a huge impact in my life? I thought my world would be over if he would ever leave this world before I got married or had children. However, in 2012 he got pneumonia and his health continued to fall. Around the same time that year, I began to pursue my goal of attaining an MBA and joined a new bible study group.  For over a year I continued to pray that God would heal my grandfather, but on March 7, 2013 he went to be with the Lord.  This is when “God’s timing is perfect” really resonated with me. I somehow became the one responsible for planning the services and arrangements.  When only months before, I would cry in my car on the commute home at the thought of him passing away. I didn’t think I could ever cope with something like that.  But, God is GOOD! I was somehow able to endure that season with peace, comfort and understanding, and I KNOW that only God can do that. Only God can give you the peace and strength to just…

A Proverbs Kind of Love Written By, Melissa Coleman

A Proverbs Kind of Love Written By, Melissa Coleman As a mom, It is so important to find your people. Motherhood can be lonely and sometimes isolating. It took me a long time to see this truth. I had to find authentic friendships that were built on trust and love. These friendships are very important for me and my soul. Sometimes as moms we think we don't have time for friends or a social life. This couldn’t be further from the truth and a lie that is told to us in order to be a perfect mom. We are just as important as each of our family members. We make sure everyone in the family is happy, healthy, and involved but we stop short at ourselves. Sometimes it's because we are just plain tired and don't have the energy to catch coffee with a friend, or pick up the phone to say, “how are you?” We think we will be okay. We think sacrificing ourselves is what we are meant to do. It’s not! You are not doing yourself or your family any favors. All you are asking for is a lonely, frustrating, burnout. Today I was reminded how important it is to have a true friend that wants you there and makes life a little bit easier. My son recently started a new one day a week school for homeschooled kids. He gets a lot of anxiety over new social situations. He freezes and feels like his life is closing in on him. It’s so hard for him to step out and try new things. For me to take care of myself I need my Mondays without kids. So I sit with him at school until he feels comfortable. Today we sat through gym together. There was this boy named Jeremiah who saw Dylin struggling. So he came over and asked Dylin his name and introduced himself. Throughout this class he would come over to check on Dylin and even tried to get him to join in. He went out of his way to let the teacher know when Dylin was ready he wanted him to join his (basketball or whatever sport) team. When gym was over he asked Dylin what classes he was taking and was excited to have the next class together. I left Dylin then and told him he was in good hands with Jeremiah. Jeremiah…

Mind-Body Connections, Energy and Ancestral Healing

Curious About The Mind-Body Connection, Energy, and Ancestral Healing? Here are Five Must Read Books To Get You Started. Written By, Dana Coronado I was introduced to the idea of energy and energy healing years ago by my mom.  She is what I like to call a “modern day medicine woman” and she is a natural healing arts practitioner.  For years, after she would finish a good book, she would hand it off to me. And for years, different books piled up.  Marianne Williamson's Return To Love sat on my shelf unopened.  I'm still only 26 pages into Women Who Run With The Wolves.  During my 20's, I was busy building a career, in a serious relationship, and spending my free time usually at a bar or out with friends.  Like I said, I was in my 20's! Sometimes I would try to read a little bit of different books, but they wouldn't grab me, and I would put it away, telling myself that "one day I will have time to read this."  I knew my mom was onto something, and I trusted that she was trying to lead me in the right direction, but it wasn't my time yet. I relied on her heal me, help me feel better, and guide me as she continued to grow her knowledge and hone her (now very powerful) skills.  I was along for the ride so to speak. Interested, but not ready to dive in. Well, there's nothing like being a new mom trying to navigate a career, motherhood, husband, depression, and all kinds of other crap to send you dusting off all those books!  Shit was hitting the fan by the time my son's first birthday rolled around. What I mean by that is, my "old" life wasn't working for me anymore. My old identity, habits, priorities, relationships, etc.  Big stuff was coming up because it was time for me to do my own "work" and heal. Unfortunately I wasn't listening, so the signs, messages and blow ups became bigger. And then slowly, I began working on my "stuff."  And what I mean by that is, I started doing my own personal healing and growth work. With my mom's guidance, I began working with an intuitive life coach who helped cut some energetic cords and uncover some areas that needed immediate healing.  She taught me new ways to connect to spirit,…

This or that? The low down on your fruits & veggies

Written by, Anna Green Hands up if you get a bit overwhelmed walking around the produce section of the grocery store? I know my hand’s in the air right now! Do I need to buy things that are organic? Is fresh really better than frozen? So many questions! Don’t worry -- I got you. Organic v. Conventional You want to give your family the healthiest food you can, right? Great! But, how can you get in those fruits and veggies everyday without breaking the bank or exposing you and your family to dangerous pesticides? Here’s what I use to help me choose when to purchase organic and when it’s not as important: The EWG's Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, publishes a list every year of produce that contains the highest chemical residue (Dirty Dozen) and those that contain the least amount of chemical residues (Clean Fifteen). The list rankings are based on data gathered by the USDA, which measures pesticide levels in produce that has been washed and peeled, just like you would prepare it at home. Some sampled items had very low rates of pesticides (way to go, avocados), while others, like grapes and bell peppers had 15 different chemicals! So why does this even matter? Pesticides are linked to numerous health problems, including certain cancers, symptoms of ADHD, autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a whole host of other issues. This doesn’t mean you should let these lists deter you from eating fruits and veggies! Instead, use them to help you make informed decisions about the produce you buy for you and your family. Save a few dollars on items on the Clean Fifteen and purchase conventional asparagus and onions, but, when you can, spring for the organic strawberries. EWG’s 2018 Dirty 12 StrawberriesSpinachNectarinesApplesGrapesPeachesCherriesPearsTomatoesCeleryPotatoesSweet Bell Peppers EWG’s Clean 15 The Clean 15 list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides, but still have some pesticide residue. AvocadosSweet CornPineapplesCabbagesOnionsFrozen Sweet PeasPapayasAsparagusMangoesEggplantsHoneydew MelonsKiwisCantaloupesCauliflowerBroccoli Bookmark this blog so you can reference it later or head over to the EWG website to download the guide. Fresh v. Frozen Now, which is better, fresh or frozen produce? The initial answer would be fresh because it’s...well...fresh! Slow down, turbo! There are a couple of things to consider before you make…

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”- John Muir This past week was a rough one at work. I’m a Digital Marketing Manager for a car dealership.  I’m in the midst of a couple projects right now that are trying. Between unanticipated tech problems, the kind you call into tech support to fix and they say, “Wow, I have never seen this happen before”,  to missed deadlines, it’s been a week. I felt I was playing catch up and stuck in a holding pattern at the same time. I normally enjoy my job, I have a good mix of sitting in front of a computer working on creating content, website management and being outside taking inventory pictures. The last couple weeks have kept me in front of the computer working on several different projects. The first couple days I didn’t mind it because the temperature had no intention of getting above freezing. But as the week wore on, I began to feel the change in myself. I was a lot more irritable and I could feel my stress level rising. By the end of the week, I was just done. I was exhausted; physically, emotionally and mentally. We had made plans as a family to head up to Red Feather Lakes where we have a small piece of property. It’s just land, we call it our private campground. We hadn’t been up for a couple months and wanted to check on it and the canoe we store in the boathouse. Friday morning came and while I was looking forward to making the trip, I was still carrying everything from the week. As the roads started to turn to dirt I started to feel a little bit better and becoming more engaged. Our youngest prefers it when our 4Runner is muddy and was asking her daddy if we could get muddy today. Our oldest wondered if we would see any wildlife, and if we didn’t could we hunt for tracks in the snow. As the conversation drifted to what we would find, the quote from Muir came to mind. I’m an outdoor kind of person, I can stand being indoors before so long before I need to get outside. Not a have to or like to but a need. There is something about being out in God’s creation that brings restoration and…

What kind of Mom are you?

What Type of Mom Am I? Written By Ashley Angelo I love taking online quizzes!  Some seem so accurate and gives me a boost of self confidence and others I just giggle at.  This morning, while drinking my coffee I was browsing through different mom quizzes. I stumbled across a quiz that was on Oprah's website and it was, ‘What Type of Mom Are You?’  A cool, yet together mom that's who!! Ok, so I made that up.  I’m curious now, what type of mom am I? The quiz was a short, and only had 7 questions.  Now the types of mom I could be are: Funseeker Mom, Alpha Mom, Helicopter Mom and Free-Range Mom. Quizzes are sometimes in the grey area and I wish we could pick more than one option but we know that’s not how it works.  So I answered with my gut feeling, which is more like me. Duh! Well, turns out I am Funseeker Mom!  Woohoo! Another quiz dead on! The funseeker mom is the one making the best of any situation. Whether it is a sports event or tutoring lesson the funseeker mom finds a way to make it seem more fun!  That is so me. I always made a promise to myself that I would be a supportive mom by making the most of any situation. The definition of a funseeker mom ended with, “She’s glass-half full all the time.” I want my son to take advantage of any opportunity he is wanting to pursue.  A way I see being a supportive mom in helping him reach his goals is to make the situation fun. Not overwhelm him but also not be that mom who may not be aware of how uncomfortable he is. I want him to go after any opportunity with confidence knowing I have his back, and some snacks, ok, and juice too. Growing up, my parents were not always on the same page as me as to where I stood with some things.  I enjoyed doing activities with friends as opposed to being alone. I was super timid when I was alone, and sometimes when I would do these things alone my parents were just, too much.  So now being a parent myself, and getting familiar with my son's personality as he is growing I want to be sure he has confidence by making it fun but not being…

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